Just when you think the justice system couldn’t get any more screwed up, another case springs up to illustrate what a farce the system has become.
The latest and greatest involves convicted murderer Sydney Teerhuis-Moar who horrifically butchered another human being in July of 2003.
Mr. Teerhuis-Moar through his lawyer, Greg Brodsky, has recently launched an appeal of his conviction and argues that he was wrongfully convicted, or too intoxicated to know what he was doing, or at the very least has received an inordinately harsh sentence.
He would like the courts to dismiss the deliberations of the jury who convicted him and the wisdom of the trial judge, the well-respected Glen Joyal, who after presiding over the trial and considering all the facts and details imposed a sentence of 25 years without parole. He would like us all to ignore the revolting manner in which the victim was surgically dismembered over the course of hours. He’d also prefer we forget his prison correspondence discussing the murder, which he claims he only did to get himself a book deal.
Apparently one of the arguments made was that the jury shouldn’t have been shown photos of the scene. Too inflammatory and prejudicial apparently, forget that it was the actual scene of the actual murder for which he was on trial. What photos was the jury supposed to see? Maybe a collection of scenic postcard photos? Is the practice to be that juries must be protected from the harsh facts of homicides when deliberating at a murder trial? Give me a break.
Oh, and while this is all being considered, Mr. Teerhuis-Moar of course expects us to pay for the tab for the hours spent by the appeal courts in considering the matter, the Crown in disputing it, and perhaps his lawyer if he qualifies for legal aid. He not only expects it, but is entitled to it, because that’s his right.
Forget about the rights of the victim’s family to expect that Judge Joyal’s ruling should have been the end of it. Forget about the rest of us that used to believe we had the right to be protected from butchers like Sydney Teerhuis-Moar and his ilk.
We are continually reminded of the large deficits at the provincial and federal levels, yet law-abiding taxpaying citizens must continue to not only ensure Mr. Teerhuis-Moar has a comfortable jail cell, three squares a day and probably books, other recreational materials and activities, but now we must also pay the tab for the courts to consider holding another trial, granting him a shorter sentence or perhaps even the remote possibility of an acquittal.
Judge Joyal made the right call but Sydney Teerhuis-Moar hopes to persuade the court of appeal to find some fault that will somehow translate into his early freedom.
How incredibly chilling if he were to be even slightly successful.
— Mike Sutherland is the president of the Winnipeg Police Association.